Artist Karoline Schleh is a detail-oriented person, but not in the way that you might think. For Schleh, her work is all in the details. “Most of my subject matter is either autobiographical or about the small details we often overlook in the world around us,” she says. By taking those small details around us all and turning them around in a new light, like a precious jewel, her works have subtle meaning and powerful beauty that seem hauntingly familiar.
Schleh is the kind of artist who doesn’t feel trapped in any one kind of medium. Expressing her unique view through paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures and book projects, Schleh captures the imagination in a wide array of works, yet with her own signature style. “In all of my work I write—in backwards script—my observations of a given series. Sometimes the work is non-objective—just writing —and sometimes they are drawn or collaged images incorporated in the piece. It just depends.”
A New Orleans native, Schleh tried to live in New York City briefly, but found her hometown calling to her. “New Orleans is bred in the bone,” she recalls. “I tried to live in the city, but I kept finding myself drawn to the areas that reminded me of home. It seemed pointless to try to keep recreating it, when I could just move back home.”
But, her hometown dedication has not kept her career from growing and flourishing, and she has exhibited all over the U.S. Locally, you can find her work at Jenkins Connelly Gallery.
One of her most recent and most successful projects oddly came courtesy of Hurricane Katrina. Schleh and her husband, Sean Gerowin, collaborated on <i>Catte Au Lait and the Big Hurricane</i>, a book that also has special meaning for us grown-ups. “It was great and cathartic. It helped my husband and I keep from going nuts during the evacuation.” Schleh says, “We wrote it for ourselves and our friends who evacuated with their kids. It was such an emotional time. The book gained a great following and it’s in all the local bookstores.”